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 Thursday, December 06, 2007

GSM customer numbers in North America topped 100m in early September to reach 100.52m by the end of the third quarter, 1.97m up over the three months. Connections to networks operating using the global standard have more than doubled in number over the last three years, having stood at just under 50m at the end of Q3 2004. Over that time-frame GSM has been without doubt the fastest growing technology in the North American market; however, over the last year it has in fact been the slowest growing. In the year to 30th September, GSM customer numbers rose by 9.7%, which is the lowest ever recorded growth rate for the technology, and the first time the annual figure has dropped below 10%.

Before CDMA stalwarts get too hot under the collar, however, we should point out that this is of course because of the huge increase in W-CDMA 3G customers in the US market. Taking the GSM and W-CDMA bases together, the increase in customers amounted to 16.8% in the year to 30th September 2007 - well above the regional average growth rate of 10.2% and 1.2pp in excess of the percentage increase in the number of CDMA customers in North America over the 12 month period.

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